UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS| PRELIMS & MAINS | 13th May 2020

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Daily UPSC Current Affairs | 13th May 2020

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Daily Current Affairs for UPSC is an initiative to dilute major articles from leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Hence we choose articles on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC PRELIMS2020.

As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.– Richard Branson

HIGHLIGHT INFO:

ORANGE COLOUR: Important for Prelims.

RED COLOUR: Important for Mains.

BLACK COLOUR: Must Read !

BLUE COLOUR : Important Links/Survey.

PINK COLOUR: Reports/Themes/Summits.

Lockdown Effect : Africa

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19 lockdown to inflict $65.7 bln loss on Africa every month: UN

      WHY IN NEWS:

Food security threatened; about 70% slum dwellers surveyed by UN in Kenya missing meals or eating less

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases:Eonomy

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS nothing much here .

For MAINS this issue signifies key important factors of lockdown effect in African Countries . This has some wonderful solutions too !

      ISSUE: 

Africa can lose up to 2.5 per cent of its annual gross domestic product (GDP), equivalent to about $65.7 billion, for every month of lockdown imposed to control the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread, according to United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates released on May 11.

Over 61,100 COVID-19 cases and 2,200 deaths were reported in 53 African countries as on May 11, 2020. Photo: The Conversation / Shutterstock

  • Over 61,100 COVID-19 cases and 2,200 deaths were reported in 53 African countries as on May 11, 2020.
  • This economic cost of the lockdown was in addition to the wider external impact of the pandemic in Africa such as lower commodity prices and investment flows.

THE KEY ECONOMIC RISKS AS A RESULT OF THE LOCKDOWN INCLUDE:

  • Drop in demand for products and services
  • Lack of operational cash flow.
  • Reduction of opportunities to meet new customers
  • Closure of businesses.
  • Decline in worker production and productivity from working at home
  • Logistics and shipping of products
  • Difficulties in obtaining supplies of raw materials essential for production

FOOD SECURITY THREATENED :

  • About 70 per cent of slum dwellers surveyed by the UN agency in Kenya reported that they were missing meals or eating less.

THE UNECA RECOMMENDED:

  • Improving testing;
  • Following lockdown until preventive or curative medicines are developed;
  • Contact tracing and mass testing;
  • Immunity permits; gradual segmented reopening;
  • Adaptive triggering and mitigation.

Under adaptive triggering,the nations can ease lockdown once infections decline and re-impose if they begin to rise above intensive-care capacity.

VULNERABILITY :

  • UNECA said the lockdowns prevent severe vulnerabilities in the continent where only 1.8 hospital beds are available per 1,000 people.
  • The risk of spread of the infection is also high since only 34 per cent of the population in Africa has access to household facilities for washing hands with soap and water.

It is reportedly working in Sweden, where an estimated 25-40 per cent of Stockholm have contracted COVID-19, but relies on good adherence to basic social distancing measures and strong healthcare capacity.

SLOW AND SEGMENTED RE-OPENING

THE NEW NORMAL: 

It suggested proactive data-driven monitoring to ascertain risks across the breadth of policy unknowns to move towards a ‘new normal’.

  • The ‘extra time’ afforded by the lockdowns must be utilised to rapidly put in place testing, treatment systems, preventive measures and carefully design lockdown exit strategies in collaboration with communities and vulnerable groups, the report suggested.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

UNECA also warned that if COVID-19 is widespread and likely to resurge in a country, then prematurely exiting from a lockdown will result in a false economy; a re-opening that leads to another COVID-19 outbreak would likely cause economic activity to plummet once more.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit

      HEADLINES:

COVID-19: New tool through CRISPR tech to aid quicker coronavirus tests

      WHY IN NEWS:

The technology confirms presence of viral DNA in samples faster and more accurately  

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Health:Diseases:Recent Innovations

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS understand the principle and step by step procedure of this device . Do not forget the technology .

For MAINS nothing much here . But yes this can be used as an example to support answers relevant to CRISPR technology

      ISSUE: 

A new kit that tests for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in an hour’s time is now available Photo: NIH Image Gallery/Flickr

CRISPR :

FEATURES : 

  • A new kit — based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology — that tests for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in an hour’s time and the results for which can be seen through the naked eye, is now available, at a time when an increase in the quantum of testing is highly sought after to combat the COVID-19 disease.
  • The testing kit — developed by biotechnology firm Sherlock Biosciencesdoes not give false negative or false positive results and has high sensitivity and specificity, unlike Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and immunoassays tests.

PRINCIPLE:

  • The genetic material from the Ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the virus does not need to be converted to Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), unlike RT-PCR based tests.
  • This technology has so far been used to find genes along a strand of DNA, snip them out and replace them with alternative genes.

TECHNIQUE :
The Sherlock CRISPR SARS-CoV-2 kit is based on the CRISPR-based SHERLOCK (Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter UnLOCKing) technique.

THE TEST HAS THREE STEPS: 

  • STEP 1: Genetic material is extracted from the patients’ sample and is amplified using a commercially available polymerase amplification kit.(25 MINUTES)
  • STEP 2 : The amplified viral sample is then incubated with and detected with Cas13 (an RNA editing technique), which takes 30 minutes.
  • STEP 3 :A commercially available paper dipstick is then used to confirm the presence of the virus.This confirmation can be done through the naked eye. (2 MINUTES)

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The test only needs basic equipment found in most labs.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

 CHAMPIONS Portal

      HEADLINES:

Ministry of MSME Launches CHAMPIONS Portal www.Champions.gov.in

      WHY IN NEWS:

In a major initiative Union Ministry of MSME has launched CHAMPIONS portal www.Champions.gov.in, a Technology driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System.

MINISTRY? :- Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:MSME : PORTAL

      ISSUE: 

The CHAMPIONS stands here for Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength.

FEATURES OF THE PORTAL :

  • A Technology driven Control Room-Cum-Management Information System
  • Based on modern ICT tools the network of control rooms is created in a Hub & Spoke Model
  • Aimed at assisting Indian MSMEs march into big league as National and Global CHAMPIONS
  • It is a real one-stop-shop solution of MSME Ministry.

TECHNOLOGY :

  • It is a technology packed control room-cum-management information system.

In addition to ICT tools including telephone, internet and video conference, the system is enabled by Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Machine Learning.

THREE BASIC OBJECTIVES OF THE CHAMPIONS:

1. How to help the MSMEs in this difficult situation in terms of finance, raw materials, labour, permissions, etc.
2. How to help them capture new opportunities like manufacturing of medical accessories and products like PPEs, masks, etc.
3. How to identify the sparks, i.e., the bright MSMEs who can not only withstand but can also become national and international champions.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

The Hub is situated in New Delhi in the Secretary MSME’s office.

SUGGESTED READING : www.Champions.gov.in 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

GI tag for Sohrai Khovar painting, Telia Rumal

      HEADLINES:

GI tag for Sohrai Khovar painting, Telia Rumal

      WHY IN NEWS:

A ritualistic mural art and an intricately designed handloom cloth get their due

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:GI Tag

      ISSUE: 

Jharkhand’s Sohrai Khovar painting and Telangana’s Telia Rumal were given the Geographical Indication (GI) tag on Tuesday by the Geographical Indications Registry headquartered in Chennai.

Telia Rumal can only be created with traditional handloom process.

LOCAL TRADITIONS

SOHRAI KHOVAR PAINTING

  • “The Sohrai Khovar painting is a traditional and ritualistic mural art being practised by local tribal women during local harvest and marriage seasons using local, naturally available soils of different colours in the area of Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand.
  • Traditionally painted on the walls of mud houses, they are now seen on other surfaces, too.
  • The style features a profusion of lines, dots, animal figures and plants, often representing religious iconography.
  • Telia Rumal cloth involves intricate handmade work with cotton loom displaying a variety of designs and motifs in three particular colours — red, black and white,” .

HISTORIC WEAVE

TELIA RUMAL

  • Telia Rumal can only be created using the traditional handloom process and not by any other mechanical means as otherwise, the very quality of the Rumal would be lost.
  • The officers working in the court of the Nizam would wear the Chituki Telia Rumal as a symbolic representation of status.
  • Telia Rumals are offered at the dargah of Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan, with some devotees offering 50 or even 100 cloths.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

Telia Rumals were worn as a veil by princesses at the erstwhile court of the Nizam of Hyderabad; and as a turban cloth by Arabs in the Middle East.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

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